Filming of Jurassic World: Dominion was halted in March due to the Coronavirus outbreak. With the world trying to get a grip of the spread of the virus, Universal pulled the plug in order to keep the cast and crew safe. Upon arriving back home, Howard and the rest of the cast and crew were quarantined for 14 days before being able to return to their families.
With the spread of the virus slowing down, Universal gave the green light to restart production of the film. Jurassic World: Dominion is the first major Hollywood films to return to set.
Before any of the actors returned to Pinewood Studios outside London, they were adamant in making sure they would be safe. The actors and other members of the set discussed precautions and what protective measures would be in place to make sure all actors and crew remained safe.
Howard points out some differences with filming during these unprecedented times. With less crew on set the less likely for an outbreak, so the actors now have more responsibility in getting ready for a day of shooting. Howard explains that she is in charge of attaching her own microphone before filming.
“Until now, actors were not really included in prep,” Howard explains during a phone interview. “But in order to get any of us on a plane, we had to thoroughly understand the protocols, who was involved and hear second and third opinions. We are the guinea pigs who are going to take the leap.”
Howard even knows the staff at the pristine hotel Universal rented out for the production. This gives the crew and actors a sense of safety as they return from a day of filming. Because of the limited people now involved in the production, social distancing at the hotel is not needed. Staff, cast and crew are able to walk the premises of the hotel freely.
When referring to what it’s like shooting a scene, Howard explains it’s like a “closed set”. Before the pandemic, a closed set referred to when actors are filming a physically intimate scene.
To keep the number of people at a minimum, Universal split production into two categories. The green zone is made up of the essential workers including the cast, director, camera operators and the sound crew.
For those that are working in the green zone receive Covid testing every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. There are sinks and sanitizer stations all over in order to stop the spread. The actors associated with the film are able to feel at ease with these new precautions.
“After being on set, all of us actors hope that these protocols stay in place,” Howard said. “Because they are improvements. Nothing feels like a redundancy, nothing feels annoying. It is in a sense a safety reckoning that still feels like a good idea in a post-Covid-vaccine world.”
To read more on the production of Jurassic World: Dominion visit NY Times.